ECONOMY

In Brief

Eurobank plans expansion in Poland’s retail banking EFG Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest bank by assets, plans to enter the retail banking market in Poland and set up a network of branches from 2006, a senior bank official said yesterday. «We have had approval from the Bank of Greece for the setting up of a branch in Warsaw, which will begin operating in 2006,» the official told Reuters. «At first we shall begin with retail banking products such as consumer loans and credit cards; our aim is for the creation of a branch network,» he added. Greek financial daily Imerisia reported yesterday that Eurobank planned to create a network of 200 branches in Poland by 2009 after its attempts to buy a local bank failed. Eurobank already has a significant presence in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia after the acquisition of local banks in recent years. Asked if Eurobank was considering the acquisition of a Polish bank, the official replied: «Prices (there) are at very high levels. It’s to our advantage to develop independently.» Another Eurobank official said, however, the bank’s management might seek to cooperate with another group which already has a sales network in Poland. (Reuters) Clients’ and suppliers’ lists mandatory in electronic form The submission through the Internet of lists of clients and suppliers for transactions exceeding 300 euros will be mandatory for about 1.1 million firms and self-employed professionals next year, the Finance Ministry’s Information Systems Department said yesterday. The submission will be done through the department’s website, from where those concerned may download for free the application together with instruction for installation and use (http://www.gsis.gr/e-kbs.html). The measure is seen by the ministry as indispensible in its fight against tax evasion and the identification of those who issue bogus invoices. The lists concerning transactions carried out in 2004 will be submitted between September 30 and December 30, depending on the last digit of the tax registration number (AFM). Ceres shipping Tanklog, managed by Greece’s Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd, has built up a 20 percent stake in Belgian crude oil transport company Euronav as part of a $1 billion deal. Euronext Brussels said in a statement that Euronav had increased its share capital to 52.5 million shares. Euronav said in March it would acquire Tanklog’s fleet and that, in return, Tanklog would acquire a stake in Euronav via a capital increase. Because of the capital increase, the stake held by the Saverys family fell to 45.82 percent. (Reuters) Globul loan Bulgaria’s second-biggest mobile phone operator, Globul, is preparing to borrow 75 million euros in a three-year syndicated loan to further develop its network, the company said yesterday. Globul, a fully owned subsidiary of Greek telecoms company OTE, said the loan was fully underwritten by Bank Austria Kreditanstalt and will be arranged in three tranches. «Globul will use the funds to cover its capital and operational expenditures for the development of its network,» the company said in a statement. The mobile operator has a 38 percent subscriber share in the EU aspirant state’s mobile phone market. the company is expected to post a net profit this year after posting a net loss of 15.2 million levs (7.67 million euros) in 2004. (Reuters)